[Update: A Fox representative confirmed with us that the Alien prequel is just one film and that it's not called "Paradise." An official announcement is coming soon]
Last week we reported on the rather unfortunate rumor that the release dates of Ridley Scott's highly-anticipated Alien prequels had been pushed back, which meant that we wouldn't be seeing the films until 2013 and 2014.
However, those who were disheartened that they'd have to wait an additional 12 months to see the first Alien prequel can breathe a sigh of relief as those rumors of delays have now been stamped as "false." Not only that, but the prequel (which we confirmed is actually only one movie) has reportedly been given a new title (which may not be accurate), as well as possibly snagging its first two actors.
Vulture is reporting from their sources that any word of 20th Century Fox delaying the release of Scott's Alien prequel is incorrect. Apparently, those rumors were simply echoes of a failed attempt at making the prequels with Leonardo DiCaprio as the leading star. Supposedly there was a plan to push back the schedule in order to accommodate DiCaprio shooting Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar Hoover biopic but that isn't happening anymore.
Also included in Vulture's report is that the Alien prequel has a new title: Paradise and not "Alien: Paradise" or anything of that nature, but simply the word "Paradise." There's no further explanation given as to the title's meaning. We warned you to take this with a pinch of salt and we were right as we've confirmed that "Paradise" is not the title, but that we should hear an official announcement soon.
As far as the cast of the prequel, there's word that two fairly big name actors are being sought for key roles. The first one mentioned is Michael Fassbender, the rising star of such films as Inglourious Basterds and X-Men: First Class. Scott was reportedly very interested in Fassbender for the role of an android who's actually an earlier version of Ash (Ian Holm) in the original Alien and Bishop 341-B one played by Lance Henriksen in Aliens. Fassbender's reps allegedly sought an "outrageous" payday for the actor and that has sort of turned Scott off. Still, Fassbender isn't off the table yet - I'm sure if both parties want to work together they'll come to some sort of financial compromise.
The other big name actor mentioned is Michelle Yeoh, known to most American audiences for her roles in such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Scott reportedly wants to give her the role of, "Vickers - a fortysomething, tough-but-sexy woman." Personally, I think Yeoh sounds perfect for the part :-) .
No other actors are named - although actors like James Franco and Anne Hathaway have previously been rumored for the film - but that doesn't mean there aren't other roles available:
The main character is named "Elizabeth Shaw" and Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes 2) still appears to be the frontrunner to play her. There's also the role of "an older businessman who's along for the ride"; and a character called "Engineer 1" who is to be played by a 6 foot 5 inch actor, but the character will actually be a CGI motion-capture character, in the same fashion as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Is he another android or something else entirely? I can't see him being human - possibly one of the alien Space Jockeys previously rumored as being central to the story.
Despite previous word from Scott about the prequels already being budgeted, Vulture reports that the film hasn't actually been budgeted yet and therefore no official offers have/can been made to any actors. Still, it looks like Scott is still as sharp as ever and is lining people up for when the time comes and offers can be made. And by the sounds of the actors Scott has in mind, we're going to have one quality cast on our hands.
As for the specific plot of the Alien prequel, the latest logline is not anything you wouldn't expect - "the story follows a group of space travelers who encounter a monstrous alien creature that picks them off, one by one." It may be strikingly similar to Scott's original 1979 masterpiece (not to mention a lot of other sci-fi films since) but you know what they say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That's a lot of Alien prequel info to digest! What are your thoughts on the title, the character descriptions and Fassbender and Yeoh possibly being the first actors to join the cast?
Be sure to check back at Screen Rant for more news on the Alien prequel as it breaks.